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December/January 2015/2016 (vol. 12/4)

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Research Plus

HCV prevalence in healthcare workers

Healthcare workers (HCWs) have a statistically significant raised risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection compared with population-based controls (mostly blood donors), according to this systematic review of 55 studies (27 from Europe). A meta-analysis of 44 studies showed a 50% raised risk of HCV infection in HCWs compared with controls (OR = 1.5; CI 1.15–2.06). A meta-analysis of studies from countries with low HCV prevalence (Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland and USA) showed a greater raised risk (OR = 2.1; CI 1.31–3.42). The analysis also revealed a significant raised risk among medical staff and those at high risk of contacting blood, compared with population controls. Nursing staff were not found to be at raised risk; however, it was not possible to further differentiate the data according to whether or not the nurses were likely to be occupationally exposed to blood.


Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2015; online first: doi: 10.1136/oemed-2015-102879.


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2015/2016 (vol. 12/4) pp36-37